WILLIAMSBURG, VA ODU sophomore guard Aaron Bacote scored a career high tying 28 points, but the Tribe of William and Mary rallied to hold off the Monarchs for a 74-68 win Wednesday night at William and Mary Hall. ODU falls to 5-9 and the Tribe improves to 7-5 led by 26 points from Marcus Thornton and ties the third annual Optima Health Challenge series between the two schools at 20 points each.
W&M led by as many as 17 in the first half, 28-11 at the 6:05 mark on a three-pointer by Julian Boatner, and would go into halftime with a 35-26 lead.
The Monarchs went on a 14-4 run to start the second half and tied the game at 40-40 with 16:22 left on a three-pointer by red-shirt junior guard Dimitri Batten. After a W&M miss, Batten scored again to put the Monarchs up 42-40. Marcus Thornton then hit a trey to give the Tribe a 43-42 lead with 15:22 remaining. Battenscored again on a layup to give the Monarchs a 44-43 lead.
The Tribes Fred Heldring hit a jumper to put them up for good at 45-44 with 14:38 left. Omar Prewitt followed with a three-pointer for a 48-44 lead. The two teams traded baskets down the stretch as the Monarchs got with-in two at 62-60 with 2:35 left on a three-pointer by red-shirt freshman guardAmbrose Mosley, but Thornton got a basket and hit two free throws to put W&M up 66-60 and the Monarchs would get no closer than four, at68-64after a tip-in by freshman forwardDenzell Taylor with 21 seconds left in the game.
Bacote's 28 points equaled his career high set earlier this year against Missouri State. He also had a team best three assists and two steals. Joining him in double figureswere Dimitri Batten with 12 points and red-shirt junior forward Richard Ross with 10. ODU outrebounded its 10th opponent in the last 11 games, winning the battle on the glass, 32-27 and scored 36 points in the paint. Ross and Taylor hauled down six rebounds each.
ODU shot .500 (29-58) from the field to the Tribes .467 (21-45), but W&M was 21-27 from the free throw line to the Monarchs 5-9.
Joining Thornton in double-figures were Julian Boatner with 14 and Omar Prewitt with 11. Kyle Gaillard led the Tribe with six rebounds.